music as social action :: Blog
Many of you who selected the “creative” option for the course's final project — writing and recording your own protest song — are to be commended for taking the leap. A few of you said you’d never dreamed of even doing such a thing. Scary, eh? But a bracing (and educational) plunge!
In the interest of walking it like I’ve been talking it, I’ll share here a protest song I wrote and recorded when I was (forgive the old-manism) about your age. During my undergrad senior year, I took it upon myself to take up the guitar. Dubbing myself THC and styling myself as some earthy nerd, I embraced the home-recording trend of the early ’90s and started making “records.” An unfortunate series of cassettes and CDs followed.
The following song is from the first homemade tape, Kwitcher Bitchin (circulation appx. 32 copies). “Lip Service” attempts to make a call (on behalf of all gay men, audaciously) for less political talk, more political action — an explicit statement of the direct-action criteria we saw suggested by Denisoff on forward. That is, sure, sing your songs because of the other functions they support (group cohesion, external communication of ideology, recruitment, etc.), but eventually go do something, too. Alas, the action I'm calling for in the song is, er, indistinct. Recall that we discussed that problematic, too ...
(Technical caveats: The sound’s not great, a bit distant, a digital transfer of a home-stereo recording from near-countless generations of audio technology ago. First take, flubbed chords. I was in some hurry, don'tchaknow. Lyrics take a dark turn at the end. New Dylan, I ain’t.)
As always, production thanks to David “I Should’ve Been the One to Teach Them GarageBand Basics” Zachritz